Journal Article

Authority without Accountability? The UN Security Council’s Authorization Method and Institutional Mechanisms of Accountability

Christian Henderson

in Journal of Conflict and Security Law

Volume 19, issue 3, pages 489-509
Published in print December 2014 | ISSN: 1467-7954
Published online August 2014 | e-ISSN: 1467-7962 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jcsl/kru013
Authority without Accountability? The UN Security Council’s Authorization Method and Institutional Mechanisms of Accountability

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Military and Defence Law
  • Public International Law
  • Police and Security Services
  • Terrorism and National Security Law
  • Use of Force, War, Peace and Neutrality

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

The United Nations Security Council has provided what might be seen as a functional and effective interpretation of its UN Charter based powers in developing a method for ‘authorising’ states and coalitions of states to use forcible measures in seeking to fulfil its responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. While this method has become embedded into the practice of the Council and the UN, there is a certain deficit in the accountability of the Council in both its development and utilization of it. Given that the powers upon which the method is based are located within the Charter itself, this article addresses the existing institutional mechanisms of accountability. These are to be found in the International Court of Justice’s advisory function as well as in the United Nations General Assembly’s powers of discussion and recommendation, including under the Uniting for Peace resolution. While many of the transparency and accountability issues that the Security Council faces could be rectified through reform, such an institutional revolution looks a distant prospect at best. As such, this article argues that the existing institutional mechanisms of accountability have the potential to ensure that the Council does not exercise its authority without accountability. This is not through them being able to legally oblige the Council into taking or refraining from certain action, but through a process of clarification and the milder yet still effective pull towards compliance that concerns regarding legitimacy can exert upon the actions of the Council and its Member States.

Journal Article.  10119 words. 

Subjects: Military and Defence Law ; Public International Law ; Police and Security Services ; Terrorism and National Security Law ; Use of Force, War, Peace and Neutrality

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.